Christian Parents dealing with Rebellious Teens…
FYI: If one of my girls ever dared to give me the attitude demonstrated on the picture to the left, they would be grounded for at least a month. I would assume she is out of her mind and quickly help her in finding it! :)
Every single one of us either HAS a rebellious teen or knows of someone who does. On this post I am going to give you some tools for you to be able to train them up and address some discipline issues you may be experiencing with them.
First and foremost we can’t address discipline issues without addressing relationship issues. My favorite parenting author says…
“Rules without relationship, breeds rebellion.” Chip Ingram.
No matter what age or stage your children are at it’s never too late to start cultivating a strong relationship with them based on love, trust and discipline. A parent that loves is a parent that disciplines! God disciplines those He loves, the Word states. Parents who hate their children don’t bother to guide/discipline them.
Establish both a bible study night and a family night every week. Pick a bible study where you have no prep work need if you are a busy parent and bring the whole family together to go through the word. It is our responsibility as parents to teach the Word of God to our children. It is not the school’s or church’s responsibility. We need to actively guide and equip our children to grow spiritually. I am going to assume most of my readers send their children to “school” so I am going to write it with that in mind. If you are a homeschooler, all this applies! LOL :)
You can’t make your children love God nor want to study His word but what you CAN do is demand respect and appropriate behavior when a bible study is taking place in your home. They need to see you actively being the leader they need. Parenting in a passive manner is no parenting at all. Good parenting takes time, it takes effort and a lot of consistency. Talk to them about their day. Write them notes they can find in their backpacks. Small things will do wonders when you are trying to establish/nurture a relationship with your teens (or children in general). The more they see you trying to have a relationship with them the more they will be willing to accept the discipline without rebellion. I have to be clear on this though, if you have a teen that is rebelling, both relationship and rules MUST be established ASAP! Don’t wait to establish a relationship to set rules. It will never happen because part of establishing a healthy relationship IS rules/discipline. They go hand in hand.
Set a date night when the two of you can just go out and talk. Be involved in their lives. I ask my son (almost 10), theological questions…I want to know where he is at with the Lord. I find out his fears or doubts and I am able to guide him in the right direction and equip him to seek it out himself. Not only that, I ask everyday how school is going, the info they give you may be irrelevant to your existence yet it matters to them because RIGHT NOW that is their world. They need you as a leader and a believer to share with them a biblical worldview. Help them change the way they see the world to the way God sees the world. By example.
Now that we have gone over some ways which you can establish a relationship with them we need to go over rules/discipline.
WARNING: In order to change your children’s lives radically, your parenting must radically CHANGE!
I must warn you dear friend, you may not agree with me on these issues I will bring up but TRUST me I know they work!
First of all, don’t EVER excuse your child’s behavior by any circumstance. Exp: they act like that because of so and so or because _________. Fill in the blank. Even though there are some valid reasons why they rebel, don’t excuse them. They need to be accountable for their own behavior as much as YOU need to be accountable for the contribution you or those in your family have made to their rebellion, if any. If you have a dysfunctional family, you need to take responsibility for such and fix it. We need to get to the core issues, the heart matter before we try to deal with symptoms. Symptoms are not the problem, the heart issue is. If your teen is giving you an attitude, that is a symptom of an issue that HAS to be addressed.
Your teen needs to understand there are privileges and consequences. If they violate the trust you have places in them they will lose privileges and earn consequences. There’s absolutely no reason why a teen should have a phone with internet access. It is beneficial to them? Absolutely NOT. There is no good reason (it is actually detrimental to them, it is an unwise waste of time) for a teen to have an iPhone or any other smart phone. They need a phone to call in case of emergency and supervised/sensible conversation time with friends. We are training children to be insensible. They reason everyone has it so they need to as well. This isn’t a matter of “well, we got it for free so it was a smart move”…no it wasn’t. You just gave them a way to browse the web and be exposed to temptation left and right. ALL kinds of temptations. We are over stuffing them with technology to the point they not only feel entitled they don’t even know what being sensible is.
Our job as parents is to train them to be sensible, responsible, to honor their father and mother and without active parenting that is impossible.
Take the phone away, they don’t need it to begin with even more so when they rebel. Take the phone! Yes, I said it. :) A phone is a privilege they need to ear by their respectful behavior. After all which one of your teens, pays for rent, food, utilities etc? Yeah…..If they are dependents they need to abide by the rules you set!
Computers…No teen should be left with a computer without safeguard software on it. There are plenty of christian programs that monitor and block sites. You need to monitor your child’s internet activity on a weekly basis. All passwords must be given to you and periodically check every device. If your children want privacy, they can have it when they PAY for their own needs in their own place. No child is due any technological privacy, it’s nonsense!
I sit with my son and put songs we choose together on his iPod. He doesn’t get to pick whatever he wants. First of all we don’t listen to ANY secular music so he has no interest in it…even if he did. I would listen to the song and make a judgment as to if it’s appropriate, etc. Monitor their iPods, dvd’s, books and may I also suggest DO NOT buy your child ANY magazines! There are christian magazines you can subscribe to. No secular teen bop, allure or anything else. That is just brainwashing them with unhappiness, wanting more and SEX believe it or not!
If you have a girl (with boys too) you need to motor what they wear. They do not go shopping by themselves if they do not understand and seek modesty. Go through their closet and throw out every immodest article of clothing you can find. Teach your girls modesty by example. Don’t allow them to wear mini skirts and short shorts. It is immodest and it is not bringing glory to God in any way.
If they have a car and you have tried everything else and nothing works, take it away! They simply can’t drive anymore.
Teens today are raised with entitlement issues, they have become demanding brats! Throwing tantrums at the hearing of Noooooo.
Parents have become weak, they don’t have a relationship with them to begin with so the guilt of the lack of involvement bids a parent to give in, in order for their children to be happy. I understand that. I truly do. I want my children to be happy as well, what mother doesn’t, right?
But I do not want my children to be happy if it interferes with them being holy.
If you have issue with your teen, or just want encouragement you can always send me an email at LightnerCrew@hotmail.com.